The long-time voice of the Oregon State Beavers says Mike Riley can win at Nebraska and win big.
Mike Parker has broadcast play-by-play at Oregon State for more than 15 years. Parker says Mike Riley, former coach of the Beavers, can compete for Big Ten championships and even national championships at Nebraska.
“I just think Mike has a shot to win conference championships and make a run at a national title there,” Parker tells Nebraska Radio Network. “I really hope that for him. I love the man and respect him as a coach and certainly hope he makes that kind of run there.”
Parker says Riley’s leaving caught him completely by surprise. He says Oregon State fans were as surprised as Nebraska fans by Husker Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst’s decision to choose Riley to replace Bo Pelini, who he fired.
Parker notes that Riley ended 28 years of losing at Oregon State when he arrived. Riley spent 14 years at the school during two separate stints. Parker says Husker fans will want to hear about the high-powered offenses he coached at Oregon State and the players he developed who went on to professional careers, but Parker says in evaluating Riley, it’s impossible not to talk about his character.
“You could talk to anybody out here and they’ll tell you about what a quality person and nice guy and good guy, genuinely good guy, Mike is,” according to Parker. “So, I will miss him in that respect.”
Parker says Nebraska offers much greater resources in its football program than Oregon State could ever offer. He says he will be interested to see what Riley does with those resources.
Nebraska entered into a five-year contract with Riley that will pay him $2.7 million annually. Riley, who is 61, will receive automatic $100,000 raises in each of the five years of the contract that runs through February of 2020. Riley had been the lowest paid football coach in the Pac 12, making $1.5 million a year. Former Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini made $3.1 million this year.
Riley compiled a 93-80 record at Oregon State. He was six of eight in bowl games. The Beavers finished this year at 5-7.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]